Woke up this morning with “Beautiful Road” going through my head. It had been on the radio in my dream, as I dropped down off the on-ramp onto Highway 1, northbound. It might have been Santa Barbara or some suitable facsimile – the water was down the crumbled slope to my left, sparkling and blue, and the road ahead was wide open. It was warm, and I had the top down, leaning on my elbow out the window doing (as John Mellencamp would say) my best James Dean.

What does it mean? Nothing, as far as I can tell – just my mind taking a little vacation from the ice.

Out here in the (sur)real world, the weather’s finally cleared a bit, which means the temperature’s started to drop again. Had been hovering around -10F, and we’re back to -17F (in case you’re worried that we’re getting it too easy, the wind chill is still -42F). But summer is over at the Pole, and the temperature is going to start dropping quickly. Two weeks from now it’s going to be -40F, too cold for the Hercs to offload cargo; in four weeks it’s going to be -50F, too cold for them to land. Between now and then is the official USAP window for getting all us summer folks out of Dodge before the station digs in for the winter.

A temperature graph from our friends next door at Meteorology, to give a sense of the rollercoaster:

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